CEOs Become Active in AI Decision Making

CEOs, AI, Decision Making

With adoption and implementation of AI-powered solutions, C-suit executives are giving more importance to the AI- that has the power to transform the businesses

In the last three years, over $15 billion has been invested in AI, as it becomes an important boardroom agenda in global enterprises. CXOs across industries are aware of the transformational impact that AI brings in and are assessing how to invest effectively in new solutions. Business leaders now have a more significant responsibility to understand the challenges as well as the opportunities that can arise while implementing AI.

With a constant stream of new AI offerings that are promising revolutionizing results, there is so much noise around it, it can sometimes be deafening. A Genpact report titled, ‘AI 360: insights from the next frontier of business’ found that 25% of senior executives plan to reimagine the fundamentals of their business with AI by the end of 2021. This makes it a critical time for CXOs to have a complete understanding of the technologies they are adopting.

Traditionally, the CEO relied on the CIO and CTO to make the pragmatic technology investment and implementation decisions. However, CEOs today are taking that mantle on to their own list of KRAs, to deliver better business value. Clearly, AI is no longer just a technology implementation – it is now a business aid.

According to PwC’s 11th annual Digital IQ survey of business executives and technology executives in over 60 countries, 53% percent of companies are at the planning stage in AI investments. About 19% of respondents have at least one use case, and 4% of companies said that they’ve successfully implemented AI.

41% of the top financial performers in the PWC survey responded that their leadership was not digitally savvy enough to help the workforce think in a new way. Clearly, CEOs need to take responsibility for the technology implementation, their teams feel. The significant role of AI in the business transformation has also created a new leadership role in many organizations – the Chief AI Officer, who can focus completely on the application of the technology.

The financial services, retail, and automotive industries have invested the most heavily in the technology making it a billion-dollar AI industry before the end of 2019. With high importance given to enhanced customer experience, AI is been used in multiple services of companies. Retail giant Sainsbury’s introduced AI to improve supply chain and availability of products, while the financial services company NatWest has implemented AI in its chatbot Cora to enhance the customer service experience. Though the implementation of these technologies is to improve the customer experience, the purpose remains customers’ retention and increasing revenues.

The year 2018 is seen as a breakthrough year for investments in AI, with no signs of investment and activity slowing down in 2019. When NatWest introduced chatbots, it became an excellent example for business leaders to understand the need to transform. Since that transformation was managed seamlessly, it showed the bank’s executives had ensured that the workforce was trained and educated on the impact.

There is a growing need for executives to understand the right investments and best-suited partners to deliver the required solutions. There will also be an increased pressure to keep up with the pace of the change.

Business leaders who thoroughly understand and acknowledge the challenges faced when implementing AI will be the ones best equipped to adapt to the changes.  Experts believe that the ones who do not implement AI might be left behind and far worse become irrelevant in the AI-powered enterprise landscape.